Nubia Z11 Mini launched with Snapdragon 617 for $230


nubia Z11 mini launch

Nubia’s newest phone of the year is here, the Nubia Z11 Mini just launched moments ago with a Snapdragon 617 and some interesting camera features take a look.

Nubia’s Z11 mini launch just wrapped up and from the event we learned most of the major selling points for this mini sized Android smartphone, so here they are.

nubia Z11 mini launchBeing a ‘mini’ phone we knew the screen size would be a smaller than the norm and the Z11 Mini has a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 panel to keep it nice and compact. The 5-inch screen is going to appeal to people who like decent hardware on a smaller scale, while lovers of larger phones will have to wait for a larger standard Z11 or Z11 max later in the year.

nubia Z11 mini launch

While were on the front, Nubia have given the Z11 Mini an 8 mega-pixel F2.4 selfie camera with 80 degree angle lens and the usual beauty features.

The design of the phone looks no different from the leaked details from TENAA earlier in the month. The phone has 2.5D curved front and rear panels with a metal frame. Colours include white, gold and silver and it appears a wooden backed version might also be offered in the future too.

nubia Z11 mini launch

As the Nubia Z11 Mini isn’t a flagship device the processing goodies are use components we are use to seeing in mid-range phones such as an 8-core Snapdragon 617 chipset and 3GB RAM. Still Nubia have been generous with storage and given the phone 64GB memory as standard.

nubia Z11 mini launch

Rear camera specs are perhaps the most interesting part of the Nubia Z11 Mini package. The back sensor is a 16 mega-pixel F2.0 IMX298 from Sony with 6 lens stack. As well as those pretty decent specs the camera also has PDAF, a new 3D noise reduction feature and OIS (however I’m not sure if this is hardware or software based at this time).

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nubia Z11 mini launch

These features are part of NeoVision 5.8 which gives the Nubia Z11 Mini the ability to shoot photos at an ISO of 12,800 without added noise.

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For those of you who like to edit their photos, then you will be happy to learn the Z11 Mini will save images in DNG (a type of RAW loss-less format).

We’ll have to wait for the Nubia Z11 Mini product page to go live to get the full details of the phone, but the today’s event also confirmed a 2800mAh battery (which Nubia say’s will offer 15% better run time compared to other 2800mAh batteries), VOLTE, and a new update to the Nubia ROM with some screen capture features.

nubia Z11 mini price

The Nubia Z11 Mini will go on sale through JD call in China this month and will cost just 1499 Yuan which is about $231. Not a bad looking compact phone for those of you wanting some decent camera hardware at a lower price. What do you think?

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66 Comments

  1. MattD
    April 19, 2016

    I’ll resume what many are thinking reading this: “redmi 3 for half the price”

    • Chico Migraña
      April 19, 2016

      But Redmi’s camera sucks

      • Ionut Johnny
        April 19, 2016

        I hope this year a good camera phone from China to be equal or better than the Samsung galaxy s7, maybe Huawei p9 or p9 max but they are are expensive.

        • balcobomber25
          April 19, 2016

          From what I have seen P9 is already better.

          • Ionut Johnny
            April 19, 2016

            Thanks Balco, Huawei will be my next phone, I love the design of their phones. 😀

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              I love everything about Huawei except two things: the price and the name. With the name I always pronounce it wrong (even though I know the correct way).

            • King
              April 19, 2016

              Agree… wwwhhhoooooaaaaawwweeeeeiiiii … that’s a Chinese Tarzan in the jungle. 😀

      • VMortens
        April 19, 2016

        It doesn’t. It’s in par with the price of the phone, but it definately doesn’t suck.
        Not the picture quality I expect, but definately good in the price range.

        • Chico Migraña
          April 19, 2016

          Well, that’s true, I have RN3Pro and Mi3. Day pictures are OK, night ones don’t

    • balcobomber25
      April 19, 2016

      The Redmi 3 is a good little phone but there are a few differences:

      1. Display – 720p vs 1080p.
      2. RAM – 2GB vs 3GB
      3. Storage – 16GB vs 64GB

      The Redmi 3 has a much larger battery and the camera remains to be seen, on paper the Nubia is better but we need to see it in actual tests first.

      • Ewan
        April 19, 2016

        Hi Balco, please mention also the Redmi 3 Pro which has been released with 3GB RAM and 32GB ROM with expandable storage up to 128GB. That Nubia Z11 Mini is already listed at $288 on Ibuygou website which is as expensive as the MI4S which is sold at $289. Some people here (not you) are saying that the Redmi 3 with its SOC is not recommended for gaming. I have been able to view some videos on uTube where reviewers are able to play the most demanding games with it. Apparently, SD616 is not the perfect soc out there but manage to run most of the games.

        I was in the middle of the process of ordering the Note 3 Pro but maybe I will get the Redmi 3 Pro if I could get a great deal.

        • balcobomber25
          April 19, 2016

          People said the same about the Helios X10, I have yet to find a game that my Meizu MX5 can’t handle. Take comments on sites like this about components with a grain of salt, a lot of people here only care about the raw specs, not the actual performance.

          • Ewan
            April 19, 2016

            I believe you, it is been a while that I am reading your comments here and am 100% of the time on your side. You know what you are talking about and it is rare nowadays. I do not forget MaxPower too!

            I will order a phone tomorrow, I really want the Redmi 3 Pro and the best deal I have been able to find is 155€ without shipping costs which is a fair price. I know that Redmi Note 3 Pro is a lot better and offer outstanding performance for the price but the phone is bigger. Shame that it is not a 5.2 inch phone (the perfect size for me). I know the difference is not huge between 5.2 and 5.5 but am planning to use TPU protective case which will make Note 3 Pro wider.

            Another killer phone is MI4S but very expensive considering what it offers compared to MI4C (both phone have similar specs) so not a great deal at $289.

            Peace!

      • MattD
        April 20, 2016

        Well redmi 3 pro has 3/32gb combo, and probably nubia will have a better camera, but… Is it still worth it?

        • balcobomber25
          April 20, 2016

          It largely depends on your brand preference. Both should be good phones.

  2. erictheking87
    April 19, 2016

    Well, any information about DAC/amp specifications and MicroSD support?
    It would be pretty interesting phone for me in case of good DAC/amp and MicroSD.
    I’m done with waiting for small Meizu with Hi-Fi and I’m thinking more and more of LG G5+B&O (or actually anything with full one-hand usability (so preferably 5.0″) with ESS Sabre DAC+proper amps)

    • Chico Migraña
      April 19, 2016

      64gb is not enough? MicroSD slot is there with the sim card

      • erictheking87
        April 20, 2016

        64gb+microSD is enough. 64gb alone… could be not enough.
        but how about DAC?

  3. Steven Fox
    April 19, 2016

    Get ready for over 300$ from resellers, this price will never leave China.
    A really good phone for Camera and aesthetic lovers.
    Not really good for heavy gaming or great multitasking(SD 617 is on par with MT6753A).

    • Ewan
      April 19, 2016

      That gaming argument is false, check youtube videos even with Redmi 3 you can easily play most of the demanding games (it is not perfect for very deamding games but you can still play them). That SD617 is just an overclocked SD616. I think I am gonna get the Redmi 3 Pro because the Nubia Z11 Mini is already sold at $288 on some resellers site.

      My favorite phone is the Note 3 Pro but it might be wider for me. My ideal size is 5.2″ screen.

    • Ewan
      April 19, 2016

      Redmi 3 Pro gaming review!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_Khr0bxXwI

  4. realjjj
    April 19, 2016

    It’s tragic how these guys think, they invest in everything but the SoC.
    The experience starts with the SoC. then the screen, the software, the form factor.
    They have so many better options this year. P10, SD652/650, Spreadtrum SC9860 , x20/x25, SD820 Lite and vanilla, Kirin 950/955, maybe Exynos 8990 and even SD625 is close to being available http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=msm8953

    3GB , 64GB, OIS and it can’t get it up.

    • Chico Migraña
      April 19, 2016

      This is the cheapest one, why they need a better SoC? P10? X20/X25? it’s a 2800mAh battery! with MTK battery’s life sucks! Besides they never use a MTK SoC on Nubia phones.

      • VMortens
        April 19, 2016

        Maybe because of the fact that re-sellers will sell it at ~$280-300 range and this already is Xiaomi’s Mi4s (excellent Snap808) range. If Nubia Z11m doesn’t show advantage in one particular field, I would never choose it over M4s.
        They don’t mention OiS in their slides so, I think it will be a software option only, or video only thing. This will hardly be advategous over Mi4s.

        • Chico Migraña
          April 19, 2016

          Months ago Zte says they will expand their market so I hope prices keep low or a little more high. Hope that happen soon. At least they have an English & Spanish site up

          • balcobomber25
            April 26, 2016

            They already sell some phones direct in the US and on sites like Amazon.

    • Dante
      April 19, 2016

      i d i o t (not really) but still great value who games anyway

    • balcobomber25
      April 19, 2016

      Most of those aren’t realistic options. There has never been a single phone in the Nubia line that hasn’t used a Qualcomm chip. So they were never going to consider Mediatek, Samsung, Spreadtrum or anyone else. I can’t think of a single non Huawei phone that uses a Kirin chip, maybe you know of some. The SD820 is most likely going to be used on either the regular or the Max versions so they weren’t going to use it on the mini. So basically it was either this or the 650/52.

      • realjjj
        April 19, 2016

        First of all,you don’t design a product on BOM.
        Second , to reach a price point you don’t make the deepest cuts at the most important part while adding fluff elsewhere.
        Third, any part that can fit in a phone and is available for sale is an option. Sure the top part might cost 45$ more and so what?You can make that choice and compete with the Mi5 and iphone SE and price it at 2499CNY. Or you can go with SD650 and just 32GB of NAND at the same 1499CNY or any of the many options in between. The P10 would have had better perf and power, the Spreadtrum with MP4 and A53 cores might be actually rather nice in gaming and low power in all else.They had a dozen better choices and they went with this.
        Fourth, you don’t go with an outdated SoC that wasn’t nice even last year.This is more or less a rebrand of the SD615. The SD625 is almost here and this phone needs to last in retail for an entire year.
        Fifth, a slow SoC equals poorer experience and you can’t retain customers with that. If they copy something from Apple, they might as well copy this, investing more in the SoC since it pays off.

        • balcobomber25
          April 19, 2016

          I am not defending them using the SD617 but they were never going to use anything except a Qualcomm SoC. In this industry you do in fact design products based on BOM. Almost all of these companies have agreements to use certain components from certain suppliers, for ZTE it’s Qualcomm.

          • Faisal Shaharyar
            April 19, 2016

            how does SD617 compares to MTk 6753 or even P10.

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              They are all about even. If I was going to personally rank them it would be:

              P10
              6753
              617

              Now I am sure someone, probably realjjj, will come along and argue that my opinion is wrong but thats what it is.

            • Assefa Hanson
              April 20, 2016

              :O 6753 isnt that bad then

            • balcobomber25
              April 20, 2016

              Personally I like it. I think it’s a very good chip for many people. Most people don’t need a flagship soc.

            • Assefa Hanson
              April 20, 2016

              for real most people that want the greatest soc dont even run these super high clocks, i guess its for bragging rights, it trust your ranking

            • balcobomber25
              April 20, 2016

              The main reason I buy flagships is the camera and audio.

            • Assefa Hanson
              April 20, 2016

              things that you as a user actually use

            • balcobomber25
              April 26, 2016

              Yea I only pay a handful of games and they can run on the most basic of hardware so GPU is usually one of the last things I even consider.

            • Faisal Shaharyar
              April 26, 2016

              so the rank is it top to bottom or vice versa…. mediatek processors have really tipped the scale in their favor in the past 15 months with their mtk6595 and helio x10… what they definitely lag in right now is number of developer who can easily port ROMS to their chipset…. their GPU is also not upto the mark of Adreno or even PowerVr used in iphone

            • balcobomber25
              April 26, 2016

              They are all very close to each other overall but the 617 is probably the best overall of the 3. The problem for developers is Mediatek doesn’t release source code for free. You have to pay to obtain the code which is needed for porting ROMS.

          • MaxPower
            April 19, 2016

            You’re arguing with a brick wall.

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              Haha, couldn’t put it any better myself. He lives in a bubble sometimes, especially when it comes to SoC’s.

            • MaxPower
              April 19, 2016

              The most hilarious part is that he still brings up benchmarks to prove his opinion about how much a phone should cost to be sustainable or profitable for a company.

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              He has little clue about how any of the decisions are actually made by companies. He pulls component prices off the internet and thinks they are definitive. A lot of times the decision for a SoC is made before the company even knows what the phone will look like.

            • MaxPower
              April 19, 2016

              Also the SoC might be the least component that they might take in constideration.

              It might add cost without gaining costumers.

              What he doesn’t understand is that the majority of the people approaching a new phone are not benchmark junkies.

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              Exactly, I like to ask random people I meet questions about their phones. In my unscientific research most people have no clue what processor is inside their phone, who makes the camera sensor (many will say the brand name of the phone). Most buy phones from because they like the brand or their friends use it, or they like the design.

            • MaxPower
              April 19, 2016

              Especially in that segment.
              That’s a nice good looking phone that doesn’t cost $600 with decent camera and runs pretty well the majority of the app from the store.

              Cutting off on the design to put more money on a SoC would have meant less costumers for this phone because they don’t care of a slight improvement in performance.

              I wonder which phone is a good buy for him this year.
              Last year there were none, he said we were supposed to wait.
              I’m starting to think he’s still on a flip phone waiting for the greatest deal

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              I have yet to see him say “I like this phone, it is a great deal”. Every phone released has the wrong SoC or is priced to high. Today he will say this phone should have had the 650, if it had the 650 he would say it should have the 820.

            • MaxPower
              April 19, 2016

              By the way, I think that both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will win today in NY.

              If you don’t believe me then just look at here:
              //browser.primatelabs…

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              You were right! See benchmarks mean something.

            • MaxPower
              April 19, 2016

              Oh… Remember when he always said that Xiaomi flagships were overpriced at 1999 yuan?

              Now he’s suggesting Nubia to put a high end SoC on this phone at price it at 2499 yuan.

              He’s out of control lately

            • balcobomber25
              April 19, 2016

              Well to him anything Xiaomi does is overpriced. I can understand not being a fan of Xiaomi, they are not for everyone, but his comments regarding them are just pure lunacy.

    • SnowyCat
      April 19, 2016

      i think most people dont care about the SoC that much..its more us in those tech sites ^_^

      like if a good friend of me wants a phone she doesnt care about the processor or ram as long as everything is fluent..and the 617 is good enough for stutter free day2day performance in facebook, whatsapp and other usual taskts..and even the highest games on mid graphics.

      what she cares about is the camera and that there is enoughs torage..and it should look nice aswell..and since most new phones got fingerpritn sensors she wants that ofc.

      so this seems like a great phone for most people that dont want over 100k on antutu

      • balcobomber25
        April 19, 2016

        Average consumers have no clue what SoC is in their phone or what SoC even stands for they care more about the brand, popularity, design, camera and price than anything else.

  5. Flavi
    April 19, 2016

    Hopefully they would put the IMX298 sensor to good use through better software optimization. I still feel that Nubia Z9’s IMX234 is better as it is a larger sensor with a bigger pixel size than the IMX298.

  6. balcobomber25
    April 19, 2016

    Actually not a bad phone at all. I am confused about the colors though, you say it’s only available in Gold, Silver and White but nearly every picture showing colors has a black model. And I can’t think of Nubia launch that didn’t have a black model.

    • Chico Migraña
      April 19, 2016

      That’s what I like about Nubia, first phone on sale is a black one, the chinese site only have black model.

      • balcobomber25
        April 19, 2016

        I am getting sick of only having the typical phone colors – silver, gold, gray. One of the things that drives me nuts about Xiaomi is with most new phone releases you can only get the white color for the first 6 months. I actually love what Sony is doing with colors they have offered red, green, purple and blue in the past few years.

        • Chico Migraña
          April 19, 2016

          And when black is available resellers ask more money for that version :/

  7. Simon
    April 19, 2016

    When is the non mini version being announced ?

  8. jimberkas
    April 19, 2016

    i like it. does Nubia run pretty stock android?
    my wife is using a ZTE Zmax 2 with the SD410 and 2GB ram. she LOVES it. battery lasts for days. its 5.5″ but only 720p but it really looks great. i bought it brand new for $80. I’m kind of a believer in ZTE these days

    • balcobomber25
      April 19, 2016

      Nubia uses their own UI, it’s a lot closer to Flyme or MIUI than it is to stock. Last time I used it was with the Z7 and it was decent, not great but not the worst either. I have heard it improved a lot since then.